Wonder Women! The Untold Story of America's Superheroines

Apr 14, 2013

Monday, April 15, 10 p.m. | WKAR

A scene from "Wonder Women!"

The newest Independent Lens offering traces the fascinating evolution and legacy of Wonder Woman.

From the birth of the comic book superheroine in the 1940s to the blockbusters of today, Wonder Women! The Untold Story of America's Superheroines looks at how popular representations of powerful women often reflect society's anxieties about women's liberation.

Included in the film are television's original Wonder Woman, Lynda Carter, and Lindsay Wagner (The Bionic Woman), GLoria Steinem, Kathleen Hanna and others who offer an enlightening and entertaining counterpoint to the male-doiminated superhero genre.

A Nation's Love Affair

Wonder Women explores our nation’s long-term love affair with comic book superheroes and raises questions about the possibilities and contradictions of heroines within the genre. Reflecting our culture’s deep-seated ambivalence toward powerful women — even in this so-called post-feminist era — women may be portrayed as good, or brave, or even featured as “action babes,” but rarely are they seen as heroes at the center of their own journey.

Tying the film together is the groundbreaking figure of Wonder Woman, the unlikely brainchild of a Harvard-trained pop psychologist named William Moulton Marston. From Wonder Woman’s original, radical World War II presence, to her uninspiring 1960s incarnation as a fashion boutique owner, to her dramatic resurrection by feminist Gloria Steinem and the women of Ms. Magazine, Wonder Woman’s legacy continues today.

Discuss the Program

Join us at WKAR on Thursday, April 25, when pop culture expert Gary Hoppenstand and Lansing Derby Vixen Jess Knott lend their insight into the issues presented in the film. RESERVE SEATS HERE for this free event.